If you thought yoga was only for skinny hippies who sit and contemplate their naval while listening to sitar music then think again. It is alive and well and has something for everyone.

Yoga dates back more than 5,000 years with origins in northern India. Yoga masters began to travel to the west in the late 1800. In 1947 a yoga studio opened in Hollywood and, go figure, Hatha Yoga spread throughout the United States. The practice became wildly popular during the counterculture movement of the 1960s with “hippies” embracing many aspects of Eastern teaching and philosophy as they searched for ways to distance themselves from the “establishment” and the traditional American values they so actively rejected.

More recently yoga in the United States has been more for exercise than as part of a spiritual quest for enlightenment. Even though yoga has been around for ages, a new type of yoga focusing on toning and slimming the body down.

In its purer for yoga represents a complete system of social, physical, mental and spiritual development. The eight aspects of the practice of traditional yoga include: self-restraint; commitment to practice; integration of the mind and body through physical activity; regulation of breathing; abstraction of the senses; concentration; meditation; and blissful awareness or super-consciousness.

Yoga positions for beginners are not the same positions that are used by experienced yoga practitioners. Yoga for beginners must start with simple moves, then move to more complex moves as they gain more experience. Beginning yoga positions are simple positions that most people young and old will be able to do without difficulty. Yoga music is soothing and relaxing music that can be of assistance to people while they are doing yoga. The basic yoga session should consist of the following exercises:

  • Warm up session. Includes simple, basic moves. Beginning yoga session may start with just the warm up session moves.
  • Standing poses. These align the feet and the body. They also aid digestion and blood circulation.
  • Sitting poses. Sitting poses usually focus on the breath. They help shape the buttocks and legs and improve vitality and flexibility in the spine.
  • Twists. These relieve backaches and increase flexibility in the shoulders.
  • Supine and prone poses. These poses release tension in the abdomen and increase the spine’s mobility.
  • Balance poses. Balance poses help develop coordination and increase stamina, strength, grace and agility. They also help improve concentration.
  • Backbends. Backbends release tension in the front body and shoulders.
  • Finishing poses. You will need to finish your yoga session with cooling-down exercises.

Some examples of poses and exercises include things like Mountain PoseStand tall with your arms by your sides. Breathe gently and deeply. Can’t get much easier than that. Then there is the Extended Mountain Pose Up on Your Toes – Interlock your fingers together and extend your hands up towards the ceiling as you slowly lift your heels off the floor and come up on to your toes. Give yourself time to become balanced, then breathe. Other simple yoga exercises include the Half Dog Pose, Wide Leg Bent Knee with Dog and Cat Tilts and the Warrior Pose. These are also quite simple and easy to master.

There are lots of fun and instructional demonstrations in the web. The viral guys might like Yoga4dudes while basic or advanced yoga workouts can be found at numerous other locations on the web.